What’s up on Cherokee Avenue?

A crane lifts one section of the 40-foot RWC distribution center wall earlier this week at a construction site off Cherokee Avenue/Alabama Highway 69. (Photo courtesy of Jasef Wisener/City of Cullman)

Reliance Worldwide’s $19M distribution center rising fast near southwest side industrial parks  

CULLMAN, AL. – Local folks are asking, “What is that building rising up in the field off Cherokee Avenue (Alabama Highway 69)?” Reliance Worldwide Corporation (RWC) is currently constructing its new distribution center on an 81-acre site near the city’s southwest side Industrial Park 1, a 300,000sq.ft facility that will create 50 new jobs and represents an approximately $19 million investment.  

“RWC is an Australianbased company with manufacturing facilities in Cullman Industrial Park 2 along with having a distribution center at the intersection of Golf Course Road and 24th Street, which already employ 300 here in Cullman,” said Dale Greer, Cullman Economic Development director. “Honestly, this has been a true community project.” 

The field has long stood vacant until development of the distribution center began, and the construction method has allowed the outer walls to go up rapidly. 

“The most unusual part about the project was it going from a pad to having panels reaching 40 feet in the air in five days,” said Greer. “Alston Construction – the general contractor – is a national company which specializes in tilt-up concrete. This is a process where they form wall sections on the ground then use a large crane to tilt it up, hence the name.” 

Local concrete companies and site development companies were used in the project. Alston was the main general contractor. The first of the 40-foot sections was placed Monday, and by Friday a total of 96 panels were installed. 

“Panels are tiltup concrete and average 40-foot-high and 25-foot-wide. The concrete panels were poured at night on site and were all completed before the erection work began,” Greer said. “The new distribution center is actually 302,046-square-feet and sits on the old York property. A 300-ton crane is used to lift the individual panels which weigh roughly 80,000 pounds each.” 

Greer stated that the project was made possible by the Tennessee Valley Authority, State of Alabama, and the city and county industrial boards. 

“The contractor is stating the project should be finished by May and then they’ll turn over the keys to RWC at that time,” he said. “This was a major expansion as we had no room left in the industrial parks so they (RWC) purchased the York property. We’ve worked with just about everyone at this point so truly has been a community effort.” 

RWC has become famous worldwide for its SharkBite plumbing connection that can be installed with a minimum of tools and skill. 

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